How Many Watts Does a Well Pump Use?

cost of well pump

Well water is said to be a better option than municipal or city water because it’s often richer in healthy minerals. It’s also cleaner and fresher because it comes from an underground aquifer. The problem is it needs to be pumped out of the ground. This is where a well pump comes in. This device draws water from the well and pumps it into your home. 

Well pumps run on electricity, hence, using one can add to your energy consumption. As such, getting one with a good energy efficiency rating can help keep your electricity expenses down. Also, since well pumps need electric power to operate, they cease working during power outages, leaving you with no water. In such instances, a power generator will come in handy. 

If you intend to install a well pump, you should find out how much power it uses. We’ll take a look at that, along with other important details about this useful device. 

What is a Well Pump?

People in cities and suburban areas often have constant access to clean and potable water. However, the situation isn’t as ideal in rural areas where wells serve as the primary water source for millions of homes. These homes often rely on well pumps to get their water. 

A well pump is an electromechanical equipment that pulls up water from a well and directs it into a storage tank. When you need water, the well pumps use a pressure tank system to send the water from the storage tank into your home’s plumbing system.  

The air pressure inside the storage tank increases as water flows inside. When it reaches a specific level, it will push the water through the pipes in your home. Using the water decreases the air pressure. Once it reaches a certain point, the well pump will activate and fill the tank again. This ensures that you’ll always have water when you need it.                     

Average Energy Consumption

Because well pumps run on electricity, you’ll likely want to know how many watts they use. The average power rating of a well pump is about 700 to 800 watts. However, there is more to consider in calculating its average monthly electricity consumption than the power rating. How many watts a water pump consumes can increase or decrease depending on its horsepower.  

For example, a ¾ horsepower well pump has a starting wattage of 3,000 watts and a running wattage of 2,500 watts. Meanwhile, its 1 horsepower counterpart has a higher starting wattage of 4,000 watts and a running wattage of 2,000 watts. This shows that the lower the horsepower of your well pump, the fewer watts it consumes and the lesser its impact on your energy bills. 

An average well pump uses around 1,400 watts, or 1.4 kilowatts (kW), or about 1,200 kWh of electricity per month. This translates into approximately $160 a month. This amount could increase or decrease depending on the electricity rates in your area. 

Types of Pump

The type of pump affects how many watts it consumes. That’s why you should opt for a well pump with a good power rating. There are several kinds of pumps, and which will suit you best depends on several factors.  

Let’s look at the different types of pumps to help you decide on the right equipment for your budget and situation. 

Submersible Pump

The submersible well pump is one of the most popular choices among homeowners owing to the flexibility it offers. It can operate at a variety of depths, which makes it a perfect fit for any well, no matter how shallow or deep it is. 

This well pump type consists of a pump and a motor that’s about 2 to 3 feet long and 3.5 inches in diameter. It’s installed inside a well and sits below the water level. Because it stays underwater, the pump motor stays cool, making it last longer than other pump motors that burn out faster. Moreover, the pump is watertight and durable, so it requires little maintenance. 

A submersible pump is typically used in wells that are more than 3 inches in diameter, and its cost (between $200 to $1,200) makes it the priciest type of well pump. However, the long life span and minimal maintenance requirements of the electrical equipment mentioned can offset the higher initial investment.                                            

Jet Pump

Jet pumps come in two varieties: those for shallow wells and those for deep ones. A shallow jet well pump (also called a single-drop jet pump) works like a submersible pump. However, it only works for wells with a depth of 25 feet or less. Meanwhile, a deep well pump (also known as a double-drop pump) comes with more diffusers and impellers than its single-drop counterpart. This makes it more powerful and, thus, capable of functioning in wells as deep as 100 feet. 

Single-drop pumps are installed either inside the house or in an outbuilding. On the other hand, double drop pumps require a split installation, where the jet assembly sits in the well while the impeller motor stays above ground. 

A jet pump has the most power and can deliver water faster than other pump types. Also, like a submersible well pump, a jet pump can work in wells of all depths.  

Turbine Pump

This is a centrifugal well pump that draws water from deep underground. It’s typically used for wells that require high water flow as its impellers can move more liquids. The pump motor is installed atop the well while a turbine shaft goes below the water level. The impellers at the bottom of the shaft push the water up. 

Since the motor sits above the water, it can operate without needing mechanical seals. As a result, standard electric motors can be used instead of specialized submersible motors. 

Cylinder Pump

Typically used for windmills or off-the-grid installations, this type of well pump is a cylinder on a rod that moves up and down to draw water out of a well and transport it to the surface. The water then goes into a storage tank to be sent to your home’s plumbing system

Cylinder pumps are the least expensive type of pump. They also function regardless of the weather or utility availability. However, they’re hardly used anymore ever since the jet and submersible pump became available. That’s because despite the lower cost, using a cylinder well pump can be tiring. 

Components of a Well System

You can consider a water well as a complete system. It has numerous components, starting at the ground level, up to the groundwater aquifer, and then back up to equipment that delivers the water to your home. These parts should work together properly to deliver water fit for consumption. 

The components of a safe and reliable well system are the following. 

Well Casing

A well casing is a steel or plastic pipe that’s inserted into the hole after the well is drilled. Aside from keeping the well open, the casing helps prevent drinking water contamination.  

It sometimes extends up to several hundred feet into the underground water source. Once installed, the space around the pipe is filled with cement or grout to totally seal any empty openings between the casing and hole. This ensures that no dirt or other contaminants get into the water supply.  

Well Cap

Made of plastic or aluminum, the cap is placed on top of the well to keep dirt, bugs, animals, and other contaminants above ground out of the well. It must be sealed correctly to the part of the well casing that rises above the ground. Bolting the cap down is the best way to ensure a secure seal, thus preventing the cap from being easily or accidentally removed.  

The well cap also has a vent that helps regulate the pressure while the well pump operates.  

Well Screen

This is a section of the pipe at the bottom of the casing with openings to allow the water to enter the well. At the same time, it keeps aquifer material, such as sediment or broken rock, from getting into the well.  

Common screen types include a continuous slot (also called wire wrap screens) and slotted or perforated pipe with various opening designs.  

Pitless Adapter

This component is commonly used in cold regions to provide a frost-free water line connection while allowing convenient access to the well. It’s designed to present a watertight seal between the well casing and water service line, or water main and prevent potentially contaminated groundwater from seeping into the well. 

Well Pump

The well pump is the motorized equipment that brings the water from the well up to the surface. Thanks to this component, you no longer have to haul the water up with a bucket. Instead, the motor does the job for you. It connects to a pressure tank where a pressure switch detects the pressure in your plumbing system.  

For the most part, the pump choice will depend on the site conditions and your preferences regarding cost, installation and maintenance requirements, and noise tolerance, especially for pumps installed inside the house. 

Selecting the right pump is essential. This will help ensure that the device will supply your average daily needs in terms of water head pressure and volume per minute. Choosing the wrong pump type can leave you thirsting for water, especially during times of peak usage.  

Well Pump Wattage based on Size

Well pumps’ sizes vary. They can be as small as ⅓ horsepower or as large as 10 horsepower. You’ll need to know your pump’s horsepower to determine its wattage. You’ll find this on the pump itself. For example, most submersible well pumps have a label on them containing various information, such as how much horsepower the pump motor is rated for, the running watt power, and the voltage it requires to run properly. 

It’s important to determine the pump wattage and size since this will affect its energy consumption. You’ll also need the information if you purchase a portable generator so your device can still pump water during an electrical outage. 

What size pump you need depends on how much water your household requires. There are various sizes of well pumps, and each produces a specified volume of water. Here are the common ones. 

Pump Motor SizeStarting WattageRunning Wattage
0.33 HP1,500 - 2,400 watts750 - 800 watts
0.5 HP1,800 - 3,150 watts900 - 1,050 watts
0.75 HP3,000 - 5,400 watts1,500 - 1,800 watts
1 HP4,000 - 7,200 watts2,000 - 2,400 watts
1.5 HP5,000 - 8,400 watts2,500 - 2,800 watts
2 HP7,500 - 12,000 watts3,750 - 4,000 watts
3 HP10,000 - 16,500 watts5,000 - 5,500 watts
5 HP15,000 - 24,000 watts7,500 - 8,000 watts
7.5 HP20,000 - 33,000 watts10,000 - 11,000 watts
10 HP30,000 - 48,000 watts15,000 - 16,000 watts

Well Pump Power Usage Calculation

What size pump you use factors significantly in its power usage and hence, its impact on your power bill. Take note that pumps make it to the list of high-energy users among household appliances and devices. Even an average well pump will consume a few hundred kilowatts a year.

Here’s how to calculate your pump’s electricity consumption. 

  1. Look for the following information. 
  • The wattage of the well pump 
  • Operational hours or the number of hours the pump is used per day 
  • Electricity rate/tariff in your area 
  1. Multiply the wattage of the pump by the operational hours. 
  2. Convert the watts of consumption into kilowatts (divide the figure by 1000). 
  3. Multiply the figure you get by the per kWh rate in your area, then multiply the answer by the number of days in a month (for the monthly consumption) and days in a year (for the annual consumption). 

This is just a rough estimate, as several factors will affect the actual power consumption of the unit.

Energy Saving Tips for a Well Pump

how to run a well pump with a portable generator

Pumps still consume a lot of power even when they’re in top operating condition. But you don’t have to resort to hauling buckets to get water for your needs. Employing energy-saving tips can help reduce the electricity a well pump uses. 

Replace Old Well Pumps

Nothing lasts forever. Electrical devices and equipment have components that wear out over time. For example, the bearings in a pump’s electric motor deteriorate, throwing its power tolerance and efficiency out of kilter. 

Pumps with worn-out components sometimes can’t produce enough pressure to turn off. Instead, they operate 24/7, leading to sky-high electricity bills. It may cost more to buy a replacement, but the investment will be worth it in the long run. 

Check for Water Leaks

Water leaks not only waste water but also electricity because they cause your well water pump to work harder. This leads to higher energy costs. Several things in your well system can leak – the check valve, underground piping, your toilets, and the like.  

Here’s how to check for leaks in your system: 

  • Turn off the pump’s power 
  • Note the number on the pressure gauge 
  • Wait for about an hour without using any water in your home 
  • Check the pressure gauge once more 

If the numbers on the pressure gauge remain the same, that means there are no water leaks. A lower pressure indicates there’s a leak somewhere. Trace the leak and plug it to prevent higher power and water bills. 

Use Fewer Pumps

Is your well using an old pumping system that’s been adapted or refurbished to meet your increasing water requirements? If this is the case, you might be using extra pumps that hike up your power usage. For example, your system might use one pump to deliver water to a storage tank and another one to push the water to your home’s plumbing system.  

This setup increases your electricity expenses as each pump adds to your home’s power consumption. Revamping your pump system can eliminate the extra pumps without compromising the volume of water it delivers.  

Only Use During Off-Peak Electric Hours

In some areas, electricity is sometimes cheaper during certain hours, such as at night or during weekends. If this is true in your case, consider turning the pump on during these off-peak hours. You can use a timer to run the pump only during the most cost-effective times.  

Unsure of what those hours are? A quick check with your electricity provider will tell you what times of the day feature cheaper per kWh rate. 

Reduce the Size of the Pump

You might not be aware of it, but the size of your current pump could be larger than what you actually need. Contrary to what some homeowners think (and what some contractors recommend), getting a pump that’s bigger than required isn’t a better option. As we mentioned, the size of the pump is one of the factors that affect the equipment’s power consumption. Thus, the bigger the pump, the more electricity it requires. 

Replace your large pump with a correctly-sized one if you want to reduce energy costs. Doing so might require a more significant initial expense, but it will save you money over time.  


Can I Run a 1hp Water Pump on an Inverter?

Yes, you can, provided you use an appropriately sized inverter that can handle the power and voltage required to run a 1 HP pump. Take note that 1 HP = 750 W. This means that the water pump needs a minimum of 750 watts of solar power to run. However, you should add a few hundred more watts to the minimum size requirement due to efficiency power losses when transitioning from DC to AC.  

Will a 2000 Watt Generator Run a Water Pump?

A 2000-watt generator can run a ⅓ HP water pump as the running watts of this size pump is 750 watts, and its starting watts is 1500 watts. As such, a 2000-watt portable generator has enough juice to supply the power required to run a pump of this size. 

Can I Run my Well Pump with Solar Power?

If you’re worried about power outages and want to ensure you have water if the grid goes down, you can turn to portable generators for backup power. Alternatively, you can install solar panels and run your pump with solar energy. Aside from the panels, you’ll need an inverter adequately sized for the pump and probably battery storage for nighttime pumping. 

Will Well Pump Work Without Electricity?

Pumps run on electric power. Thus, without electricity, they stop functioning. The best way to have a continuous water supply during outages is to install a generator. The size of the unit depends on the size of your pump and the type of system it needs to power.


Installing pumps is often the best means to have water in your home if you live in areas with no city or municipal water. The variety of choices can make the selection process tricky. Should you opt for a submersible well pump or a jet pump? How much horsepower do you need? Research is the key to picking the right one.

One downside of well pumps is their reliance on electric power. That means they cease operating during a power outage, leaving you with no water. The good news is that you can always pair your well pump with an electric generator. A solar generator or solar panel system can also run a pump. Using either is a wise choice as both rely on a renewable energy source, thus lowering your home’s carbon emissions.

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